What would Clement do?

A Labour blog that witters on about Clement Attlee. Hurrah for The Major!

Archive for the tag “London 2012”

OLYMPICS MAKE A MOCKERY OF TORY ECONOMICS

Just a quick one for my 160th post. We are all familiar with Gideon Osborne telling us that you can’t “throw money” at a problem, yet certain current events seem to prove this to be a fallacy.

Lets just take a look at the money spent on elite sport over, say the last four Olympiads by Great Britain, and the corresponding results:

  • Sydney 2000     £58.9 million – 28 medals
  • Athens 2004     £70.0 million – 30 medals
  • Bejing  2008     £235 million  – 47 medals

AND THE CLINCHER:

  • London 2012   £313.4 million – 40 medals so far…

So, maybe investing money does gain results after all…

Boris’ Best Mates – Number Two: KIT MALTHOUSE…

Residents of Pimlico in Westminster will probably remember Kit Malthouse as the Tory Deputy Leader of Westminster Council who agreed to reducing the amount Dame Shirley Porter should have payed for her part in the “Homes for Votes” fraud and gerrymandering scandal from £42 million to just £12.3 million. It still took the Tesco Heiress until 2004 to cough up, after first fleeing to Israel.

So it may have seemed surprising that Boris Johnson chose someone so lenient towards criminal behaviour to become his Deputy Mayor in charge of Policing. Is it at all possible that there was a deeper agenda here???

2008 – Kit and Boris engineer the ousting of Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair. In response to Blair’s offer to stay on until a suitable candidate is found, the national press reports that he was told not to bother, as;

We don’t want a successor appointed. We will have an acting arrangement until a Conservative Home Secretary arrives.

2009 – Step forward Sir Paul Stephenson, manfully into the breach, who must not have got the message because less than a year later he and Sir Hugh Orde, President of ACPO are publicly complaining of political interference and the politicisation of the police, specifically The Met. Apparently Kit had been boasting to hacks that London Conservatives now had their “hands on the tiller” of The Metropolitan Police Service.

2011 – After a decent interval, and in no way connected to the quote above, the Conservative Home Secretary appoints Bernard Hogan-Howe as Met Commissioner. Transparent eh? Still, Sir Paul got the top pension, so no hard feelings.

This makes for three Commissioners in four years, an unprecedented turnover in what is not only Britain’s largest Police Service, but also a key post in UK Counter Terrorism. Anyone notice 2012 coming up? Olympics? Diamond Jubilee? Anyone??? Bernard, do you feel safe in the hot seat?

We can all agree at least, that the past four years have been very interesting times for The Service:

April 2009 – G20 Protests. Ian Tomlinson unlawfully killed. Boris describes press coverage as “an orgy of cop bashing”. The trial of PC Simon Harwood for manslaughter will begin on June 13th 2012.

2010 –  Anti fees Protests. The Met fail to protect Tory Central Office at Milbank, a predictable target for protesters. Subsequently their tactics lead to accusations of brutality, with further use of the disputed “kettling” tactic. Parliament Square becomes a battleground.

May 2011 – TUC Anti Cuts Demo.  201 arrested, 66 injured, including 31 police. Police arrest the non-violent UK UNCUT protesters at Fortnums, whilst leaving the violent anarchists to have at The Ritz.

2011- The Riots. Neither Johnson nor Malthouse emerge until all is safe. Dozens of police injured, yet eyewitnesses talk of Police reluctance to actually protect life and limb.Would this have been different if the riots had been in Mayfair?

2012 – Twelve officers so far referred to IPCC inalledged racist incidents.

2006 – Ongoing – News International Hacking and Bribery scandal. Both Kit and Boris have been vocal in calling for these investigations to be downgraded. Boris called it “a Labour Plot”.

And now some figures:

  • Police numbers 2010 – 33,260 :    2011 – 32,380    DOWN NEARLY ONE THOUSAND

Detection rates for 2010/11 (Home Office figures)

  • VIOLENCE AGAINST THE PERSON –  London  35%  : England & Wales- 44%
  • BURGLARY DETECTION RATE –            London  11%  :  E&W – 13%
  • ROBBERY DETECTION RATE    –            London  17%  :  E&W – 21%
  • SEXUAL OFFENCES  RATE –                     London 23%  :  E&W – 30%
Kit Malthouse is standing for the GLA in West Central against a his nearest rival, Labour’s Todd Foreman. If you, like me, are seriously worried by the way that Malthouse and Johnson have further politicised our Police Service, then I suggest that you vote for Todd.
To Properly ensure that Kit Malthouse has no power over The Met on May 4th, I advise all Green and Liberal Democrats to vote for Ken Livingstone as your second preference in the Mayoral contest.

The Soul of a Poet & the hands of an Artist…

… but they have to be back by a week on Thursday…

Having seen the triumph of fiction over fact that was “The Iron Lady”, I was thinking about the “image thing”, and the constant belittling of Labour Leaders. The magnificent Clement Attlee was a case in point – almost always portrayed as dry to the point of aridity, in fact inside the reserved exterior lay the passionate heart of a poet.

To prove this, here is one of his earliest published works, from 1909;

In Limehouse, in Limehouse before the break of day

I hear the feet of many men who go upon their way.

Who wander through the city

The grey and cruel city

Through streets that have no pity

The streets where men decay.

In Limehouse, in Limehouse by night as well as day

I hear the feet of children that go to work or play.

Of children born to sorrow,

The workers of tomorrow,

How shall they work tomorrow

Who get no bread today?

In Limehouse, in Limehouse today and every day

I see the weary mothers who sweat their souls away.

Poor,tired mothers trying

To hush the feeble crying

Of little babies dying

For want of bread today.

In Limehouse, in Limehouse I’m dreaming of the day

When evil times shall perish and be driven clean away.

When father, child and mother

Shall live and love each other

And brother help his brother

In happy work and play.

These are not the words of some prim and paltry lawyer, nor the vainglorious bombast of some posing buffoon. Clement Attlee dedicated his life to improving the lot of the workers, particularly those of his adopted East End home. In that, he was not alone in his generation. Not for him the learned phrases of the petty Oxbridge braggart, nor the empty posturing of the machine politician.

Sadly, in 2012 the good citizens of Limehouse will have no candidate of his stature standing for Mayor of London. It seems that today’s polite political class have no time left for passion or good works, only vanity and empty lies. With few exceptions, they certainly have no shame as they prostrate themselves before their tax-avoiding masters.

And for all the heaps of prose they generate, they cannot match the masters’ poetry for its clean elegance and noble passion.

Sadly, it is possible to read the verses above and still recognise not only our Capital, but every town and city in our barely United Kingdom, thanks in great part to that great heroine, Margaret Hilda Thatcher. Somebody should tell Meryl Streep before she gives her winners’ speech.

In my opinion, our body politic is much worse off without poets such as these…

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